Simon Frisch is a New York-based American-Breton composer whose 2016-17 season includes premieres in New York, Europe, and Australia, in projects spanning performance, lecture, and multimedia collaboration. Recent international premieres include opening NYC’s 2016 Fête de la Bretagne with the semi-theatrical The Body Untied for soloists and baroque chamber orchestra, presented by the BZH NY and Région Bretagne, the “lovely and delicate” Sandglass Vespers for the New Juilliard Ensemble at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, and the string quartet provost in New York, France, and the United Kingdom. Other collaborators of note include Orli Shaham and the St. Louis Symphony on a prepared piano project in October 2016 at the Pulitzer Foundation, as well as soprano Renée Fleming in adapting a cycle of Patricia Barber songs for their 2015/16 Higher program that “shattered musical boundaries” (Chicago Tribune), heard first in Chicago, Washington D.C., and New York, and later across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom in recital.
A wide-ranging advocate of new music and cultural dialogue, Simon is a founder of Festival Daniou, a summer chamber music residency and concert series joining young musicians, composers, and communities between the United States and coastal Brittany in northwest France. Since launching in 2014, the Festival has emphasized young American composers’ work and explored centuries of rare repertoire in partnership with local non-profits and government, praised widely for its fresh programming in Ouest France, France 3, France Morning, and Bretagne Actuelle, among others. Festival Daniou events have supported architectural preservation, contemporary art installation, and local artists and galleries, while celebrating iconic figures and locales such as songwriter Léo Ferré and the Île du Guesclin, the duchess Anne of Brittany, Breton-language poet Anjela Duval, and the Forbes family ancestral estate in Saint-Briac.
Simon was winner of the 2014-15 New Juilliard Ensemble commissioning competition and a 2012 recipient of the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Award. In 2011, he received the Richard-Wagner-Stipendienstiftung from the Gesellschaft der Freunde von Bayreuth, later appearing on a New York panel discussing the Bayreuth Festival with the New York Wagner Society. In addition to profiles in Bretagne Actuelle and the Bayreuth Almanach, he has presented on his music and non-profit work at The Juilliard School and Columbia University. Currently composition and music theory faculty at The Juilliard School in MAP (Music Advancement Program), for talented children from backgrounds underrepresented in the performing arts, Simon also received his Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees there studying with Robert Beaser and Samuel Adler, and maintains a private studio.